A Green Bay Packer Helps Starlight Create an Unforgettable Day

Three-and-a-half-year-old Odin scored a touch down against a Green Bay Packer. How many kids can say they’ve done that? Standing at 6’4”, linebacker Vince Biegel spent one-on-one time with Odin teaching him to catch a football, signing autographs and “tackling” his new friend. Don’t worry, Vince only pretended to tackle. But, Odin was all giggles that morning and we’d like to think he forgot just for a few moments about his fight with leukemia.

Odin’s Journey Began Two Years Ago

When Odin was just 17 months old, his mother Carrie noticed a change in his health during a family vacation to Arizona.

“We noticed Odin was bruising at the slightest touch. He was also tired all the time, which isn’t like him,” Carrie says.

Once back in Wisconsin, she took Odin to the doctors where they did blood work. Odin was diagnosed with Pre B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, referred to as ALL. He immediately began chemotherapy and steroid treatment.

Continuing to Grow Stronger Each Day

Despite monthly hospital visits to check his blood count, Odin loves playing soccer, running around and hanging out with his little brother. The past few check-ups, there appears to be no sign of leukemia. Yet despite the great results, Odin must remain on his three-year treatment plan. Sometimes, Odin’s blood counts are too low for chemotherapy. This causes treatment to become delayed, thus pushing remission just a bit farther away. Nonetheless, Carrie says she never loses hope.

Her advice to other families going through a difficult health challenge is to “stay strong.”

“Remember to stay strong for your child. Your child is the most important thing. If they see you being strong, they’ll be strong,” Carrie said. “Also, accept help from family and friends and even strangers. There are so many who have helped us.”

Starlight Delivers 100,000 Starlight Gowns with the Help of World Class Athletes

To this day, Carrie says Odin randomly tells people that he’s met a Green Bay Packer.

In July, we teamed up with a great organization, Athletes for Hope, to deliver thousands of Starlight Gowns to hospitalized kids. Our Starlight Gowns are a better, softer hospital gown that comes in a variety of sizes and designs. Athletes from leagues including the NFL, MLB and National Women’s Soccer League visited hospitals across the nation to deliver gowns and help create moments of joy and comfort for hospitalized kids and their families.

“As a mother, it makes me happy what you guys are doing. It doesn’t feel like we’re going to the doctors and it doesn’t have to be a horrible visit. It’s more fun and comforting.”

Donate to Starlight today so more kids, like Odin, can experience the wonderment and excitement of being a kid, no matter their illness.

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About the Author

Tara Millspaugh

Digital Media Manager

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